New cross-European microfinance collaboration announced
The Microfinance Centre, a resource centre and network uniting 112 organisations across 36 countries of Europe, Central Asia and beyond, and Responsible Finance, the voice of the Responsible Finance industry working to increase access to fair finance throughout the UK, have announced a new collaboration to increase financial inclusion and access to affordable and ethical finance.
The relationship involves shared learning about systems, the effective and ethical use of data, product design, financial technology and fintech, and reaching the people, social enterprises and businesses in most need of affordable and ethical finance.
It seeks to strengthen both organisations and their members, expanding the availability of innovative and ethical finance for microbusinesses, social enterprises and SMEs.
Grzegorz Galusek, Executive Director of the Microfinance Centre, said:
“We are very excited about this Agreement between MFC and Responsible Finance. It will allow both Networks to join efforts in promoting financial inclusion and tap into opportunities to expand innovative finance for microbusinesses, social enterprises and SMEs in the countries where we both operate. We are also very keen on learning from the experiences of responsible finance providers in the UK in developing community based financial systems, and promoting their work to other countries in Europe and beyond.”
Jennifer Tankard, CEO of Responsible Finance, said:
“The agreement between Microfinance Centre and Responsible Finance will strengthen both organisations and benefit their members – which means the small businesses and social enterprises which depend on microfinance will benefit too.
“The UK’s responsible finance sector generates £7 for every £1 that it lends. During 2017 the sector lent £235 million to 60,000 people, businesses and social enterprises; financed 5,000 businesses and 350 social enterprises; enabled the creation of 6,000 jobs and protected another 2,000 that were at risk; and helped 4,000 new businesses and social enterprises start up, adding £0.25 billion back to the economy.
“The industry is growing and this exciting partnership means the members of both organisations – across the UK, Europe further afield – can develop closer relationships at a critical time in pan-European policy development.”